The Blue Mountains National Park is a must-see adventure for the outdoor lover. After spending some time in the busy metropolis of Sydney, I was due to spend some quality time in nature, and this spectacular national park was only an hour away and easily accessible by train. As soon as my friends and I started hiking, I felt like I walked in to a fairy tale. Every step I took I would find a biodiverse landscape that amazed me: swamps, wetlands, and grasslands, all which made my imagination go wild as to what kind of creatures lay hidden.
The reason it is called Blue Mountains National Park is because the mountains actually look blue when viewed from Sydney. Weird, right? The reason the mountains appear blue is because the eucalyptus leaves on the gum trees discharge oil when they get hot ,creating a mist that looks blue.
The Three Sisters is an extremely well-known rock formation in the Blue Mountains National Park. This is not only because it is an unusual byproduct of environmental erosion, but it is also culturally significant to Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal legend goes that three sisters named Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo fell in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe. The union was forbidden, so the three brothers stole the sisters by force which led to a battle between the tribes. The witchdoctor from the sisters’ tribe wanted to protect them during the battle, so he turned them in to stone. Tragically, the witchdoctor , who was the only one who could reverse the spell, was killed in the fateful battle. So the sisters remain in stone to this day, waiting and wondering if they will ever be turned back to their human selves.
The first day of our hiking adventure proved to be difficult to get any good photos because of the thick fog that seemed to cover everything in sight.
Thankfully we were there a second day and the sky became clear, unlocking the beautiful landscape to view.
The Aboriginal tribes that are the first inhabitants are called the Gundungurra people in the Katoomba area and the Darug people in the lower half of the Blue Mountains. During one of our hikes, the inside of a log caught my eye. As I looked closer, a profile of an Aboriginal face with an elaborate headpiece appeared. I was confused because it didn’t look man made, the shapes looked like discolored residue and fungi-like. I guess I’ll never know the answer to this mystery but I’m thankful to have noticed it.
The multitude of hiking trails and pathways to choose from seemed endless. Every corner we turned showed us something unique and different to what we just came from, as if we were in a different place entirely. The giant tree ferns would tower over us, making me wonder if dinosaurs ever roamed these parts. We would randomly find small waterfalls that were cool to the touch. Kookaburra’s would laugh their distinct monkey-like chirp in the distance.
As it slowly started to become a tradition, my friends and I hiked up the steep trail to Bridal Veil Lookout to witness another scenic masterpiece before heading back to Sydney. I could understand now why Aboriginal people held this land with such high regard: It was pure magnificence! Everything seemed untainted, colorful, and magical in its own secret way.